Legal FAQs for REALTORS® — Licensing
Out-of-State Listings

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Legal disclaimer

Can I list a property that's not located in Texas? (Updated April 28, 2014)

Maybe, but you must first consider Texas licensing law, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, and the licensing law of the other state to determine if the listing is allowed and appropriate.

Your Texas real estate license permits you to practice real estate while you are physically located within Texas, regardless of the location of the property or your client’s residence. You can market the property and conduct negotiations on behalf of your client as long as those negotiations are done within the borders of Texas. However, Article 11 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics states that a broker should not perform a service or handle a transaction for which he lacks the requisite knowledge or expertise.

Therefore, it might be better to have a broker who’s licensed in that state help you with the sale or handle the entire transaction through a referral if you aren’t familiar with that state’s laws, contracts, or closing procedures. The Texas Real Estate License Act and TREC rules permit a Texas broker to cooperate and share commissions with brokers licensed in other states as long as all negotiations within Texas borders are handled by Texas licensees.

Be aware that all states have licensing laws or commission rules that restrict or prohibit the practice of real estate by people not licensed in their state. For example, TREC rules interpret the Real Estate License Act to require that out-of-state brokers be licensed in Texas if they are conducting business from another state and the buyer, seller, and property are located in Texas. You should contact the state’s real estate regulatory body to determine the restrictions on practice in that state.

One of my agents is the trustee of an estate located in Sacramento, California, and is one of the beneficiaries. Can he be the listing agent of that estate even though that property is in another state and he does not have a real estate license in California? (updated Oct. 22, 2012)

Your agent would be best served by contacting a California attorney or the California Department of Real Estate (CDRE), which is equivalent to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) in our state. CDRE can be reached toll-free at 877/373-4542 or found on the Internet at Each state is responsible for determining the permissibility of an out-of-state agent listing a property for sale. Under Texas law, a person acting under the authority of a will or a written trust instrument does not have to obtain a Texas real estate license in order to sell real property in Texas. Unfortunately, Texas law means nothing in California.

Legal Disclaimer: The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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